This year my one little word is filled. After focusing on what was most important in my life with core in 2015, followed by thinking about shine in 2016, the natural next step for me ended up thinking about the concept of filled // empty. It has given me a lot to ponder as both can be either positive or negative, depending on how they are used.
I originally considered choosing empty through the positive lens of emptying myself as I had reflected on trying to be more selfless and about service, but I didn't like that word as much since I knew it often has more of a negative feel. Instead I chose filled based on the positive outcome as a result of emptying oneself. These lyrics from the Sidewalk Prophets' song helped me to finalize my word for the year:
Make me empty
So I can be filled
‘Cause I’m still holding
Onto my will
And I’m completed
When you are with me
Make me empty
This was an extension of my process already started in the fall with the new academic year to be very intentional about letting go of attachments and carefully refining the rhythms and routines of my life to lean into what fills me vs. what leaves me feeling empty.
This month as a part of Ali Edwards' One Little Word class, she has prompted us to ponder the definition of our word, encouraging sticky notes to be posted around as a reminder. It is already mid-way through the month and I haven't posted my sticky notes yet, but there have been reminders everywhere as we transitioned from the end of Lent to Easter.
Wanting to align my life to God's will has been at the forefront of my mind since my core year, and earlier this year while re-reading 33 Days to Morning Glory I was prompted to think about the connection between "Hail Mary, full of grace" and her ability to perfectly align to God's will because of that.
Then, last week I read the final chapter in Walk in Her Sandals focusing on the Pentecost alongside others in the St. Teresa's Online Book Club and my word was everywhere in the context of being filled with the Holy Spirit, as well as being filled with amazement for Jesus.
Last night at the Easter Vigil Mass and today on Easter Sunday, our priest's homilies included a focus on the stone being removed from the tomb and how we can reflect on connotations to our own hearts and whether they are empty and ready for Jesus or whether they are already too filled with jealousy, rivalries, our egos, materialistic aspects... This resonated as I could think about my on-going reflections.
I started the year with filled knowing that it had connotations to on-going growth in my faith resulting in self-improvement in general, but different layers continue to be revealed in order to reaffirm and deepen my understanding as I explore this word. I look forward to continuing this filled journey throughout 2017 and beyond.